Helen  Halligan

Obituary of Helen E. Halligan

Helen E. Halligan (Engle)

Rochester, NY. Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at age 81. Predeceased by her parents, Lloyd, and Margaret Engle; husband, William Halligan; brother-in-law, Gerard Halligan and his wife Ann and nephew, Billy Halligan. Survived by her children, Nancy (Jeff Cummings) Halligan, Tom (Julia) Halligan, Jack (Christine) Halligan, Michael (Lynn) Halligan, Mark Halligan, Rodger Bartmann, Suzy (Scott) Guyon; grandchildren, Kelly Scott, Katie LoFaso, Chodie Halligan, Bailey Halligan, Jodie Case, Christian Gustavson; great-granddaughter, Jaida James; brother, Edwin (Ferne) Engle; nieces, Maureen Shaak, Margaret (Joe Marron) Halligan; nephews, Douglas (Susan) Engle, Lyndon (Suzann) Engle, Kevin (Jean) Halligan and Timothy (Heather) Halligan.

Visitation for Helen will be on Wednesday, November 9 from 4-8 pm at the funeral home, 21 S. Main St., Churchville. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, November 10 at 10 am at St. Martin de Porres Parish at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 11 N. Main St., Churchville. Interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Donations in Helen's name may be made to Ithaca College of Music, Theater, and Dance, Alumni Building, 953 Danby Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850, or to the Eastman School of Music, Office of Advancement & Alumni Relations, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester, NY 14604.


Helen was born and raised in Pennsylvania Dutch country near Reading, PA. She attended grade school in Rehrersburg, PA. She attended Bethel High School and graduated in 1959 and then went on to attend Ithaca College where she graduated in 1963. Helen kept in touch with her schoolmates from all levels of school and routinely got together with them over the years. 


When she finished college she moved up to Rochester, NY, and got a job teaching at Churchville Schools where she met William Halligan. They were married in June of 1970 and welcomed a daughter, Nancy, in July of 1971. They spent their summers in Kendall, NY at their summer cottage they shared with William’s brother and his wife, Gerard, and Ann. 


Helen volunteered at St Vincent de Paul Church in Churchville doing music and started a choir that was affectionately known as The Last Notes. She said, “If anyone got lost in the middle of a piece of music, we would always meet at the last note, so at least the ending would be impressive.” They sang their first mass on March 30, 197,6 for Easter Sunday. They sang at special occasions until she was hired on full-time in September of 1977. After this, the choir sang every Sunday as well as many special occasions, weddings, funerals, and diocesan events. One of the choir members called her “Miss Helen” and the name stuck. 


In September of 1989, she left St Vincent’s and went to St. Mary’s Church in downtown Rochester where she again brought the music to a new level. She also had a handbell choir and in 1994 the handbell choir and vocal choir performed at the White House. After she left St Mary’s she spent her time leading a Senior Choir out of Hochstein Music School where they visited nursing home to perform. She also played the organ at Chili First Presbyterian Church. 


Helen loved jazz music and was a frequent attendee of the Rochester Jazz Festival from the very beginning of the festival. This year is the only year she missed! She also was a huge supporter of the RPO having season tickets every year as well as season tickets to see the Red Wings. Her other interests were reading, crosswords, walking and puzzles as well as enjoying a good game of croquet from time to time. She loved the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies and was enjoying both of them doing great this year before her passing. 





4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Walker Brothers Funeral Home - Churchville
21 Main St.
Churchville, New York, United States
(585) 352-1500

Funeral Mass

10:00 am
Thursday, November 10, 2022
St Martin de Porres Parish at St. Vincent de Paul Church
11 N. Main St.
Churchville, New York, United States

Graveside Service

11:30 am
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
2461 Lake Ave.
Rochester, New York, United States


Please join us after the graveside service at Crave 360, 250 Pixley Rd, Rochester, NY 14624, at 12:30pm.
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